Thoughts

Am I Nervous?

seoul

 

Be sure to check out the FAQ here because I’m too lazy to answer questions more than once!

 

For those of you who know me well, you know that I just don’t know how to do nothing.

Even when I’m watching Netflix, I’m likely only watching on half of the screen and using the other half of the screen to edit stories or design graphics on Photoshop.

That’s where the title of this blog comes in. I’d like to think that you can find 36 hours in a day if you just look hard enough. You can make the time for just about anything if it really matters to you and even if you can’t literally make your days longer, you might as well make them better (thanks Thoreau for that senior quote).

People frequently ask me if I’m nervous about going to Korea, and I guess the answer is contingent upon why the person is asking.

If they’re asking because they’ve seen the news and think that I’m in some perilous danger, then the answer is no.

If they’re asking because they know that I have built this trip up in my mind for the past 19 years, and know that I look like I should speak fluent Korean when my actual skills are spotty at best, and know that I fear that all the kids in my classes will prefer to speak Korean with one another and I’ll be unable to keep up, and know that I am so afraid of being let down by the one country that has always fascinated me the most….

Then yes. I’m absolutely petrified.

I’m not nervous to travel, and I’m not nervous to be in a foreign country alone for a period as long as two months. I’ve traveled plenty and am very comfortable being abroad and trying to immerse myself in different cultures as best as I can. I’ve just never had to do it somewhere where I wasn’t immediately seen as a foreigner:

When you see an Asian family walking around in Spain or Turkey speaking intermittent English and Korean to each other, taking photos of the Parque Guell or Hagia Sofia, you can basically guess that they’re not locals.

When you see a Korean teenage girl walking around Seoul on her own, you might not make that same assumption.

Now of course the moment I open my mouth, people will know that I am American and will adjust accordingly, but it’s still unsettling for me.

I’m somewhat confident that I’ll be able to pick up Korean fairly quickly since I’ll…you know… be in Korea, have been around the language all my life, and I’ll be taking language classes but it’s still going to be pretty tough (and yes, I use the Oxford comma. The Associated Press style guide can deal with it).

Come back for some more unintelligible ramblings if you’re interested in what goes on during my 36 hour days.

Photo: Jeffrey Hollender

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2 thoughts on “Am I Nervous?

  1. Uh, although I have lived speaking the english language for the vast majority of my 29 years, whats the difference between an Oxford comma and the one from the AP guide? I guess this is why I got a 540 on my SAT verbal and a 530 on my SAT II writing test. 🙂 Have fun littlest cousin. I am sure you will pick up korean pretty quickly.

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